Compare Amerge vs. Fioricet

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Amerge
(naratriptan)

Fioricet
(butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)

Treats migraine headaches. Amerge (naratriptan) isn't as good as other similar medications for migraines, but can be good if other drugs haven't worked for you.Treats tension headaches. Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) works well for tension headaches, but isn’t recommended due to the ability to overuse it and have withdrawal symptoms.
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Prices and coupon for 1 (9 tablets of 2.5mg) dose pack of naratriptan
Coupons for
Prices and coupon for 30 (50mg/300mg/40mg) capsules of butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine
Reviews & ratings
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Have you used Amerge (naratriptan)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it

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Have you used Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)?
Worth itNot sureNot worth it
Side effects
AmergeFioricet
  • Stomach problems 1%
  • Nervous system issues 1%
  • Unusual sensation 1%
  • Fatigue or uneasiness 1%
  • Tingling or prickling sensation 2%
  • Dizziness 1%
  • Drowsiness 2%
  • Pain & pressure in throat or neck 1%
More Amerge side effects »

We haven’t found good data for Fioricet side effects.

FDA side effect reports for Fioricet »
How it works
AmergeFioricet
Amerge (naratriptan) is a selective serotonin receptor agonist or triptan. Migraine headaches happen when blood vessels are too open and allow too much blood in the brain. Amerge (naratriptan) tightens the blood vessels which relieves the pain.Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) is a combination of three medications. Butalbital is a barbiturate that relaxes you. Acetaminophen relieves pain, and caffeine narrows the blood vessels that otherwise cause headaches.
Type of medication
AmergeFioricet
Prescription only
Prescription only
Available as
AmergeFioricet
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Oral solution
Used for
AmergeFioricet
Risk factors for serious side effects
AmergeFioricet
  • Heart disease
  • history of chest pain/angina
  • uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • History of a stroke
  • Using Amerge (naratriptan) for more than 10 days a month
  • Tricyclic antidepressants
  • Fentanyl
  • Tramadol
  • Buspirone
  • ADHD medicines
  • Triptans
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • High blood pressure
  • history of stroke
  • History of clots in the legs or arms (DVT)
Detailed Amerge (naratriptan) risks & warnings »
  • Drinking more than 2 alcoholic beverages a day
  • Taking with other acetaminophen-containing medicines
  • History of liver disease
    Detailed Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine) risks & warnings »
    Pregnancy

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Research studies with animals found harmful effects on unborn babies. It hasn’t been properly studied in humans. The benefits might outweigh the risks even if you’re pregnant. Talk with your doctor.

    Upsides and benefits
    AmergeFioricet
    • Amerge (naratriptan) is a good alternative to other triptans since it's less likely to cause side effects and if other triptans haven't worked for you.
    • Available as a generic, which makes it cheaper than other medicines and is more likely to be covered by insurances.
    • Amerge (naratriptan) comes in two different strengths.
    • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) works better and faster in treating tension headaches than the combination of acetaminophen and codeine.
    • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) doesn’t cost much since it's available as a generic medication.
    • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) has very few side effects.
    • It has been widely used for a long time.
    Downsides and risks
    AmergeFioricet
    • Amerge (naratriptan) is only available as a pill that must be swallowed, so it might not be good if you have trouble swallowing when you have a migraine.
    • Unlike other migraine medications, you have to wait for 4 hours before you can take the second dose of Amerge (naratriptan).
    • Amerge (naratriptan) is not as good as other medications for treating nausea that can happen with migraines.
    • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) isn't the first choice medication for treating tension headaches.
    • It's not a good medication for long-term use.
    • Overuse of Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) can lead to chronic tension headaches.
    • Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) can cause dangerous withdrawal symptoms, intoxication, and dependence.
    • Taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) can decrease your ability to drive a car, or operate machinery.
    Tips from our pharmacists for people taking the medication
    AmergeFioricet
    • Amerge (naratriptan) can only treat a migraine that's already happening. Amerge (naratriptan) doesn't prevent migraines.
    • Take Amerge (naratriptan) at the first sign of a migraine. You can take another dose if you don't feel better after 4 hours. Don't take more than two doses every 24 hours.
    • Amerge (naratriptan) can make you feel dizzy or tired when you first start taking it. Don't drive or do anything that requires concentration until you know how your body reacts to it.
    • If you finish the entire month's supply of Amerge (naratriptan) before it's time for your next refill, or if you have more than 4 migraines a month, talk to your doctor to see if you should try something else.
    • Amerge (naratriptan) can cause nausea or tightness in the chest or throat. Talk to your doctor if it bothers you.
    • Take Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) as soon as your headache starts, then lie down in a dark room to help ease the pain.
    • Be sure to take each dose with a full glass of water.
    • Take your time getting up from sitting or lying down while taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) to decrease your chances of feeling dizzy.
    • Be sure to limit how much caffeine and chocolate you take while on Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine) since it can cause nervousness, shakiness, and a fast heartbeat.
    • While taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine), don’t drink alcohol or take other drugs that slow your body down.
    • Don't take other forms of acetaminophen (Tylenol) while taking Fioricet (Butalbital / Acetaminophen / Caffeine), since taking too much can lead to liver problems.
    Learn more
    More about AmergeSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Amerge (naratriptan)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it
    More about FioricetSide effectsReviews & ratingsAlternativesFDA package insert
    Have you used Fioricet (butalbital / acetaminophen / caffeine)?
    Worth itNot sureNot worth it